We were greedy. And in a different way than Ivan Boesky meant, greed was good. Greed was amplifying social problems at home, and incumbating those in other countries, but there was peace and the poor were actually getting richer too.
Ah, the Clinton years. Even college students–the very raw ingredients of the 60s–were now day trading on their laptops. But so were women, gays, and minorities. Greed does indeed create a bizarre matrix of social conditions.
Then we got afraid. A fear creates an even worse matrix of social conditions. In fact, there will always vice impelling the masses at any given time–to beleieve otherwise is quaintly modernist, or utopian.
Some of us got tired of being afraid on September 12, 2001. Those early adopters caused a bunch of problems. People like Bill Maher, Barbara Lee Johnson, and Russ Feingold woke up too early for all but a few of us. The second standard deviation didn’t wake up until people like Howard Dean started making unintelligible yells on TV.
But fear was still firmly in control in 2004 when it elected Bush.
But, as more and more time goes by, more and more people forget the past and quit caring. Sure, they pay lip service, but it doesn’t have that visceral grasp it did when you could still see smoke rising from Manhattan.
That is why it is more or less unimportant whether the Democrats can get higher rankings in national security. Sure, they need to make good faith efforts to be credible, and maybe can capture a few people who were only temporary national securiy voters, but the real people that form the base of this demographic are no more likely to leave the GOP fold than Fred Phelps’s cohort of fag haters is.
This is another of the hate-factions that needs its catharsis every once in a while. The Fag Haters need to see people going around with anti gay marriage bumper stickers so they can feel normal. The black and mexican haters want to feel normal too, so they get their border security and law and order rhetoric. These people? They want to kill or conquer a foreign nation. They think they are smarter because they’re read some history–they understand that a few blacks in the neighborhood is a burden you have to bear in order to conquer and make your mark on history. They don’t care about smart strategy, good diplomacy, or even advancing our business interests. They just want to bomb.
If the election is about national security, these people come out for their bomb orgy just the way the evangelicals will if abortion is. If they stay at home because the issue is neutralized, by things like the Ports scandal, all the better.
We want the greed to come out. The people who are don’t want to pay the taxes they will have to pay to cover the Bush deficit. or risk their comapny moving abroad because of our educational system falling behind the rest of the world, and our companies having to shoot the moon just to tread water because our health care system is behind the rest of the world; The economic cost of relying on a cheap price of oil that we knew would run out and become extremely more dear as the years go buy. And, above all else, the economic cost of sprawl, traffic, and on the environment from all of these bad policies, not just as a cost of good progress, and also on the family from having to be split apart by long commutes.
Greed is good.